Think of the toughest problems in your organization or community. What if they’d already been solved and you didn’t even know it? In The Power of Positive Deviance, the authors present a counterintuitive new approach to problem-solving. Their advice? Leverage positive deviants—the few individuals in a group who find unique ways to look at, and overcome, seemingly insoluble difficulties. By seeing solutions where others don’t, positive deviants spread and sustain needed change. With vivid, firsthand stories of how positive deviance has alleviated some of the world’s toughest problems (malnutrition in Vietnam, staph infections in hospitals), the authors illuminate its core practices, including:
- Mobilizing communities to discover “invisible” solutions in their midst
- Using innovative designs to “act” your way into a new way of thinking instead of thinking your way into a new way of acting
- Confounding the organizational “immune response” seeking to sustain the status quo
Inspiring and insightful, The Power of Positive Deviance unveils a potent new way to tackle the thorniest challenges in your own company and community. Richard Pascale is an associate fellow of Templeton College, Oxford University, and author or coauthor of numerous books, including Managing on the Edge, Surfing the Edge of Chaos, and The Art of Japanese Management. Jerry Sternin was the world’s leading expert in the application of positive deviance as a tool for addressing social and behavioral change.